Nº110 (6/1999)

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Magie(??) des retards aidant, vous avez droit au compte-rendu de la visu de juin... dans le Mag de juin ! Bon, d'accord, un juin qui ressemble beaucoup au milieu de l'été! Mine de rien , le Mag a trouvé son régime de croisière, même s'il navigue dans un espace temps décalé d'un mois... Sous presse, le big Mag de juillet/aout qui promet: La suite de vos articles préférés plus quelques surprises... Mais le Mag attend vos articles pour la rentrée ! Pas de journal de l'internet ce mois-ci, plus de place! Passez tous de bonnes vacances, et rendez-vous dans un mois ! Jean David

LE COURRIER DES LECTEURS Cette rubribre est la vôtre! Ecrivez nous ! Faites part de vos observations, de vos attentes...
CONVERSION D'IMAGES PC AU FORMAT HIRES (2) Deuxième volet de la Saga commencée le mois dernier.Une collaboration Simon/André qui promet ! Cette fois, comment optimiser la qualité de vos images sous Paint Shop Pro, avant transfert au format Oric... Tout un tas d'astuces intéressantes...
ZIP'n'ZAP THE HISTORY (3)  A l'heure où la sortie de ZIP'n'ZAP 2 approche à grands pas, replongeons nous dans les méandres techniques de Jon Bristow, avec la suite de son journal de bord: On rentre dans le détail du codage des tableaux qui composent Zip'n'Zap.
SHOOT...AGAIN (20) Vous vous souvenez? Shoot... Again numéro 1, c'était il y a presque deux ans. La nouvelle rubrique démarrait en vous proposant d'améliorer CHOPPER. Eh bien ! A l'occasion de ce numéro 20 nous allons améliorer l'amélioration... Il est vrai qu'à l'époque, Monsieur Spock n'avait pas encore redécouvert le bâton de joie, qui attendrait Shoot...Again numéro 4 pour apparaitre dans la rubrique !
LE JOURNAL DU HARD ( 21 ) Les Cartouches Telestrat ( VIII ) ! Comme d'habitude, un article hyper complet de quatre pages pour nous présenter la Big Cartouche avec RAM! 64K de RAM supplémentaire pour votre Telestrat ! Merci qui ?? Merci André et Claude !!!!!
LA LIBRAIRIE ORIC (5) Cinquième épisode, suite de la programmation avancée, des livres français et anglais ...


éditorial   Page 2
Le courrier des lecteurs.   Page 3
Conversion d'images PC au format Hires (2).   Page 4
Zip 'n ZAP, the history (3).   Page 7
Shoot...Again (20).   Page 9
Le journal du Hard (21).   Page 10
La librairie Oric (5)   Page 14
Compte-rendu de la Visu du 05 juin 1999   Page 15

The history (3)

Par Jon Bristow

Action Men

To make things a little easier to control within the game, Actions were used for the first time. These consisted of 9 separate conditions experienced during game-play.

They were...


Falling Condition when falling down Exit, Committed Suicide or falling to death

Still Condition when just started or not doing anything

Running Right

Running Down

Running Left

Running Up

Please Wait Condition when got to exit, but not enough tiles

Level Complete


This has a certain parallel to the game Lemmings and the different actions one could assign to those critters!

Switching Doors

Once the Actions were set in place, the smooth scrolling and masking was sorted, the game was run, with loads and loads and loads of bugs.. the next thing was to sort out the switch Code.

Switches, by their very essence have two positions on or off, and so they switch a specific set of doors. I wanted to make this sub-system so flexible as to allow for a door to be opened/closed by more than one switch and the capacity for a switch to open/close more than one door.
The main constraint was the flagging memory and the maximum of 10 bytes available in the Level map for mapping the links.

The answer was, to bitmap the level map bytes, copying them to a permanent place elsewhere in memory. Also, during the plotting of the screen, all open doors would be treated as possible switched doors and together with the found Switches, would be placed in a table, again somewhere more permanent in memory. This would then give a list of 8 possible doors and 8 possible switches and the 8 bytes from the level map. Now, if a player moved over a switch, its position was matched with the one in the table, the result was then a number, the number of the switch as an index to select one of the 8 Level map bytes. Once that byte was retrieved, the bits within it selected what doors the switch switched!

Flipin Doors!

The Yin Yan, called the YinYang in the instructions (Cos that's how I likes it!) was a fairly late addition and the code simply runs over the whole screen, flipping any open or closed door to its opposite state. Not as complex as the Switches, thank goodness!

Jumping Vortexes

The Vortex was also a late addition and as such, was a bit of a bodge, although one that probably wouldn't be noticed in the game. Essentially, I had hoped to separately map this with other vortexes on the same level, but I didn't have the memory to do so, so it merely allows any number of starting vortexes whilst it will always take Zip / Zap to the same Destination Vortex. The one closest to the bottom right of the game-play arena.

The Memory Game

Now after all the code that had gone into the game, I'd realised that I very much underestimated on the amount of memory that I would consume for the machine code. By now, I'd decided on 30 Levels, and that had meant the level maps ending at B040. Next went some tables to speed up the plotting of the screen (Screen address maps) then various other tables.
In addition, I still had to find memory for the title screen. This wasn't as bad as I thought, since after all the additional tables after the level maps, the memory pointer was hanging around the #B15C mark. I managed to get the title screen down to 38*18 which made this chunk considerably smaller. It even allowed me to place Zip/Zap Fall animation frames in before the pointer got within a Gnats whisker of #B500. That done, I then had to document the character sets.

Character Witness

The Standard character set was used for the Game-Play arena Blocks and Graphics. A Space Block was not mapped to the character set, but was instead, missed out. Why plot blank characters when there are attributes that do nothing instead!.
The star field was also a bit of a problem. I wanted originally to use the star field as the time compensation routine (TCR), but when I tried it, the stars then had a tendency to freeze when too many things were moving and gave a very discerning feeling to the game.
Originally their where about 32 stars, and so, I reduced this count to just 8 and used a separate TCR.
Notice the Tile Collapse Frames at the end of the character set. One cannot animate just the tile itself since that would make all appear to be dissapearing.
In addition to this character set, was the one for the Score-Board. As time passed, I found the necessity for more tables, not big ones, but little blighters. Ones that would fit just.... Their, but if only I had one less character in the alternate set for the score-board. The Format of the scoreboard must have been re-arranged a thousand times in order to get what you see now.

Reference Pages

Page 0 and 2 were all sorted. The latter being used for game variables which are stored in #0F00 to 0F4F. The reason for doubling up is simple. When the player presses space from the title screen, the program copies 0F00-0F4F into page 2 and 0E00-0EFF into Page 0, thereby starting the game without any worries about setting up variables for a new game.


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